WASHINGTON (KDKA) — For a nation that values and looks at its monuments, freedom and democracy for inspiration, the wanton destruction of parts of the U.S. Capitol Building seemed like a violent violation of our national collective consciousness.
The Capitol is a very special place. For former Congressman Jason Altmire, it’s an institution that leaves you “overwhelmed by the responsibility and part of that is because of the building.”
If you’ve never been to the Capitol Building, it’s nearly impossible to grasp its grandeur and meaning. The statues, the cavernous rotunda under a lofty dome that magnifies whispers into clear words.
“The history just oozes out of the walls. You feel it when you walk down those halls,” Altmire said.
What happened in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday was not the first time this temple to freedom has been targeted. The British in the War of 1812 tried. On Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93 was allegedly headed toward the Capitol. On that day, everyday people saved the People’s House.
But for all of its magnificence, in the end, it’s just a building — a building where the world’s looked for lessons on how to make the consent of the governed work for them. It’s a place where many of our children toured with wide-eyed gazes at all it has to offer.
Former Rep. Melissa Hart recalls how “When I was a member, my staff would give tours of the Capitol. They were booked up.”
As a young reporter, KDKA’s Ross Guidotti spent a lot of time there many years ago. Of all the buildings in Washington, it is his favorite.
America will heal from this. The shining city on the Hill will shimmer again with this amazing structure at its center, assuring as Lincoln put it.
Government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this Earth. In the end, democracy won. Democracy always wins